Press Release Article


Date: Apr 10, 2018
Press Release Number: 63-2018

Agency opens 60-day public comment period to solicit input from the public and all interested parties on proposal to raise minimum wage for all airport workers at JFK, LaGuardia and Newark Liberty to $19/hour by 2023

The Port Authority today began a 60-day comment period to solicit opinions from the public and all interested parties on a proposed policy to expand the minimum wage policy at JFK International, LaGuardia Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport that would benefit thousands of airport workers and bring their wages to $19/hour by 2023.

All public comments and supporting documents may be submitted via email to Additional information on the policy can be found

The proposed policy, which was adopted by the Board of Commissioners at its March 22 meeting, would increase and eventually align the wages of workers at the three airports, including a $2/hour increase for workers at Newark later this year. All comments received about the proposed policy will be submitted to the commissioners for review and will allow them to determine if any changes to the proposal are warranted. The Board will then take action on the proposal at its June 28 meeting.

“For years, our Board listened to the pleas of hundreds of airport workers seeking better wages and benefits to make ends meet while improving the safety, security and customer experience at our airports,” said Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole. “But we clearly recognize the need to hear from the public and all interested parties – including airlines, terminal operators, concessionaires, security firms and others – who either use our airports or provide vital services at them every day. We strongly encourage everyone to make their opinions known so the Board can make a well thought out decision.”

“This proposed policy would address two critically important issues: it would bring social justice to our airport workers and it will bring higher security and better customer service to our airports,” said Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton. “Studies have shown that higher wages for airport workers decrease turnover by as much as 40 percent. That, in turn, allows for better trained and observant employees who can assist in our overall security efforts as well as in emergency situations. Higher wages will also improve workplace morale and productivity, which will greatly benefit the traveling public. We strongly urge the public and all interested parties to provide their views prior to our Board acting on this very important issue.”

Under the proposed policy, workers at Newark would see their wages increase from the current $10.45 to $12.45 as of September 1, 2018 and to $15.60 by September 1, 2019 – at which point they would be equal to the those of workers at JFK and LaGuardia. Workers at the two New York airports currently earn a minimum wage of $13 in line with New York State’s minimum wage law, sponsored by Governor Cuomo in 2016. The wages at JFK and LaGuardia airports would rise to $13.60 on September 1, 2018 and to $15.60 on September 1, 2019. Following the scheduled increases later this year and in 2019, the minimum wage of all airport workers would increase in parallel to $16.20 in 2020, to $17.00 in 2021, to $18.00 in 2022 and to $19.00 in 2023.

If approved by the Board, the Port Authority anticipates that the minimum wage actions will help reduce employee turnover, while increasing workers’ job performance and creating a more stable workforce that will allow for an enhanced focus on safety and security. The agency believes that more experienced workers will be more knowledgeable of security processes and be better able to respond to emergencies at the region’s major airports. A further benefit of a stable workforce will be a higher level of customer service provided to air travelers.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Founded in 1921, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey builds, operates, and maintains many of the most important transportation and trade infrastructure assets in the country. The agency’s network of aviation, ground, rail, and seaport facilities is among the busiest in the country, supports more than 550,000 regional jobs, and generates more than $23 billion in annual wages and $80 billion in annual economic activity. The Port Authority also owns and manages the 16-acre World Trade Center site, where the 1,776-foot-tall One World Trade Center is now the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere. The Port Authority receives no tax revenue from either the State of New York or New Jersey or from the City of New York. The agency raises the necessary funds for the improvement, construction or acquisition of its facilities primarily on its own credit. For more information, please visit

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